Wonder Wall – Agile Retrospectives

Agile practices include holding regular retrospectives, blameless port-mortems, and open town-halls. These forums have their benefits and their drawback.

The Wonder Wall was created because we wanted to share every day. To remember and reflect on the small stuff that might not come up in a formal retrospective session. To celebrate successes, individual efforts, and engage everyone in the office in the moment. To share for its own sake in a way that doesn’t preclude action as a response.

    • We picked a spot somewhere visible to the whole company where there was a lot of foot traffic and folks could stop and write something easily
    • We figured out a way to get the spacing right by cutting string and laying them in a grid
    • We stuck a small wall-safe hook at every intersection of the grid
    • We printed 3 kinds of cards on thick paper stock (
      I feel happy because…,
      I feel anxious because…
      I feel _____ because…
    • Finally we put the cards, markers, and stickers up next to the wall with some simple instructions to share.

    If you try it, comment back and let me know how it works in your team

Add a Drain to the Product Development Backlog

Your product development backlog needs a drain, a construct to focus intent on an important task that all-too-often gets overlooked: removing low value issues from the backlog. As I’ll explain, there are significant benefits to the system: greater predictability, higher morale, and the delivery of greater business value. It is important to use this construct because it encourages us to face an uncomfortable truth, we can’t do everything.

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